German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is German word for "a boring person" but in positive context, so there is no offence? Russian equivalent is "зануда" (if this can help).

I can say it in simple phrase "Du bist langweilig", but it looks too primitive.

share|improve this question
Isn't this always rather negative, still? I think this usually not conveyed by another word, but rather by stress and irony, e.g. "Na du bist ja ein richtiger Abenteurer!". But this is very colloquial and really depends on the situation. – chaero Feb 1 '13 at 10:24
@chaero Yes, I agree with this, it is more about intonation, than the sentence itself. But could you than just suggest a correct translation? With the lowest level of offence in the word :D – Anestuk Feb 1 '13 at 10:33
It doesn't matter which word you choose; every word will be considered negatively if you direct that to a person. The only way to swap meaning is - as @chaero said - to make it irony. - However, which word is appropriate depends on context. General words could be fad or öde but even those won't fit in every context. – Em1 Feb 1 '13 at 10:39
Maybe you are looking for “Spießer” or even better “Spielverderber”. You can use “Langweiler”, too. Also, is great. Check “зануда”. By the way, I love “Fadian”. – k.stm Feb 1 '13 at 10:48
@K.Stm. Could you write this as an answer. So we can upvote and Anestuk can accept it? – splattne Feb 1 '13 at 12:09
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Making an answer out of the comment:

Maybe you are looking for “Spießer” or even better “Spielverderber”. You can use “Langweiler”, too. Also, is great. Check “зануда”. By the way, I love “Fadian”.

share|improve this answer
Ein Spielverderber muss kein Langweiler sein, und viele Langweiler sind keine Spielverderber. – user unknown Feb 2 '13 at 1:45

We would say in Yiddish (taking our cue from the Russian) "du bist a nudnik". (But I don't know how that's not a put-down in any language.)

share|improve this answer
But a nudnik is also a "pain" (Nervensäge). Perhaps the Asker should wrap his insult (for an insult it is) in a colorful package to soften the blow… If you can get a chuckle out of them, that's half the battle won already… I would type more to continue our exciting conversation but I feel my head grow heavy and droop towards the keybgozt5867ghhvngj – Eugene Seidel Feb 2 '13 at 12:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.